U N D E R
R E C O N S T R U C T I O N
||Michel: 4402-4405, 86 ;
|Stamps in set
0.55€ - Phorusrhacos (misspelled Phorusrhacos)
0.55€ - Smilodon
0.65€ - Megaloceros
0.88€ - Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and Neandertal hunters
Montbeliard, Tarascon sur Ariege
|Size (width x height)
||40,85 x 30 mm / 30 x 40,85 ;
Mini-Sheet: 110 mm x 160 mm
||Sheet of 40 stamps, Mini-Sheet with 4 stamps
||no Watermark, without phosphor strip
||13 x 13
On April 21st
, 2008, the Post Authority of France issued set of 4 stamps
"Prehistoric animals", printed in Mini-Sheet and individual stamp sheets 40 stamps each.
The set depict four prehistorical animals who lived at different times
in different part of the world and could not meet together at at the same place at
depicting on the Mini-Sheet, as well as some Neanderthals
The animals are:
- great deer - "Irish elk",
Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and Neandertal hunters
Megaloceros - great deer - "Irish elk"
Great deer Megaloceros on stamp of France 2008,
MiNr.: 4177, Scott: 3432.
The Irish Elk, Megaloceros
, is misnamed, for it is neither exclusively Irish nor is it an elk.
It is a giant extinct deer, the largest deer species ever, that stood up to seven feet at the
shoulder (2.1 meters), with antlers spanning up to 12 feet (3.65 meters).
The Irish elk evolved during the glacial periods of the last million years, during the Pleistocene Epoch.
It ranged throughout Europe, northern Asia and northern Africa, and a related form is known from
The name "Irish" has stuck because excellent, well-preserved fossils of the giant deer are especially common
in lake sediments and peat bogs in Ireland
On the other hand, the complete skeleton, on display at the Paleontological Institute in
Moscow, was found at the other end of Europe, near the
Russian town of Sapozhek
speciment first found near Sainte Savine,
Its antlers were straight, with thorn-like prongs.
The lowermost prongs near the base were palmate.
Mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus.
Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and Neandertal hunters on stamp of France 2008,
MiNr.: 4178, Scott: 3433.
These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae
, the family of elephants and mammoths,
and close relatives of modern elephants.
They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair.
They lived from the Pliocene Epoch from around 4.8 million years ago, into the Holocene at
about 4,500 years ago.
The word mammoth comes from the Russian mamont
in turn from the Vogul (Mansi) language, mang ont, meaning "earth horn".
Like their modern relative the elephant (Asian or African), mammoths were quite large.
The largest known species, Songhua River mammoth (Mammuthus sungari
heights of at least 5 metres at the shoulder.
Mammoths would probably normally weigh in the region of 6 to 8 tons, but exceptionally large
males may have exceeded 12 tons.
However, most species of mammoth were only about as large as a modern Asian elephant.
Fossils of species of dwarf mammoth have been found on the Californian Channel Islands
) and the Mediterranean island of Sardinia (Mammuthus lamarmorae
There was also a race of dwarf woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island, north of Siberia,
within the Arctic Circle.
Phorusrhacos on stamp of France 2008,
MiNr.: 4176, Scott: 3430.
was a genus of giant flightless predatory birds that lived in Patagonia,
containing thesingle species Phorusrhacos longissimus
Their closest living relatives are the much smaller seriema birds.
The terror birds lived in woodlands and grasslands.
Among the bones found in the stratum of the Santa Cruz Formation (now considered as mainly of mid-Miocene date)
was the piece of a mandible which Florentino Ameghino
(1887) at first described as that of an edentate mammal.
In 1891, it was recognized to be a bird.
Remains are known from several localities in the Santa Cruz Province, of
stood around 2.5 meters tall and weighed approximately 130 kilograms.
It was nicknamed the "Terror Bird" for obvious reasons: it was one of the
birds to have ever existed, along with Titanis, Kelenken and Brontornis, and its rudimentary wings formed
arm-like structures with claws shaped like a meat hook for tackling prey, which was then killed
with the massive beak.
Color separation of Phorusrhacos stamp from prehistoric animals set of France 2008
Smilodon often called a saber-toothed cat or wrongly a saber-toothed tiger, is an extinct genus of
Smilodon on stamp of France 2008,
MiNr.: 4175, Scott: 3431
This saber-toothed cat was endemic to North America and South America, living from near the beginning
through the very end of the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya -10,000 years ago).
The nickname "saber-tooth" refers to the extreme length of their maxillary canines.
Despite the colloquial name "saber-toothed tiger", Smilodon is not a
tiger; the latter belongs to subfamily Pantherinae
, whereas Smilodon belongs
to subfamily Machairodontinae.
The genus Smilodon
was described by the Danish naturalist and palaeontologist
Peter Wilhelm Lund
He found the fossils of Smilodon populator
in caves near the small town of Lagoa Santa,
in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil
A number of Smilodon
species have been described, but today usually only three are recognized:
Smilodon gracilis, Smilodon fatalis, Smilodon populator
Products and associated philatelic items
|Stamps from Sheets
(La Poste didn't produce any official FDC)
|Montbeliard (the birthplace of the further of Paleontology
Baron Georges Cuvier)
||Tarascon sur Ariege
- Many thanks to fellow collector Mr. Peter Brandhuber for sharing scan of of several philatelic items, including the artwork of
Christian Broutin from his collection.